Teacher Quits His Job After School Project Turns Into Full-Time Business

Alex Dodson never expected his research for an upcycled project for his students back in 2015 to turn into a full-time career. While researching the project, he came across an LPG cylinder that resembled the Star Wars villain Darth Vader.

Almost four years later he’s the company director and lead designer of Burned By Design, which makes made to order wood burners, fire pits, and barbecues all around the world. The 38-year-old started this new career path after his Darth Vader wood burner design went viral.

He told LADbible that, “It didn’t look much like Darth Vader, more like an Angry Birds version, but I posted it on Facebook and it went crazy.” He then set up a workshop in his Dad’s garage and started making Vader Burners. After he sent one to a client in Australia, the client sent him a slow-motion video of it burning the video has since been watched 22 million times, which resulted in orders flooding in.

Soon enough Dodson’s business had a 32-week waiting list, so he decided to quit teaching and go full-time into the company. With Star Wars fandom at its peak, his range now includes a Millennium Falcon, Storm Trooper and Death Star wood burners, and an AT-AT barbeque grill which retails for almost $2,000!

His designs aren’t just Star Wars inspired, he also creates music, sci-fi, movies, sports, etc designs.

Check out some of his creations below. What do you think?